When our team discussed featuring local organizations on Tuesdays, my mind immediately thought of Love’s Arm Outreach.
The year 2016 left me longing for more. I was new to Chattanooga and my husband and I worked opposite schedules; mine day, his night. I was lonely and longing to connect with Chattanooga and its people in a meaningful way. I honestly can’t remember how I came across Love’s Arm Outreach, but I remember feeling immediately drawn into their mission.
“Love’s Arm began in 2005 with a mission to engage, empower and transition women survivors of trafficking, prostitution and addiction toward a Christ-centered community of grace. We offer street and strip club outreach programs in Hamilton County, Chattanooga, TN, and North Georgia, Rahab’s Rest cost free holistic recovery home for women survivors, and are involved in numerous advocacy initiatives.”
Even though I was a new Chattanoogan with little volunteer experience, Founding Director, Mimi Nikkel and her team welcomed me with open arms. After completing the required training, I was able to join a Love’s Arm street outreach.
Love’s Arm street outreach is about “engaging and nurturing relationships with survivors working in street prostitution offering prayer, hygiene supplies, food, water, and clothing as well as transitional resources available not only through Love’s Arm but local service providers.” lovesarmoutreach.org
Mimi drove two volunteers and me through the streets of Chattanooga, the streets I was previously told to avoid, and taught us how to look for women who may need our help. Mimi spoke of her own journey on the streets and how it influenced the trajectory of her life, ultimately starting Love’s Arm and engaging with victims of trafficking. We connected and prayed with women who were hurting and untrusting… women who have been through the unfathomable. After my first outreach with Love’s Arm, I realized that Mimi and those at Love’s Arm are messengers of hope that God has sent to restore the hurting and broken in Chattanooga.
Street outreach is among several programs Love’s Arm offers. They also reach out to motels and strip clubs, have a recovery home for trafficking victims, and have programs that reach out to those in Silverdale Detention Facility.
I spoke with Mimi in preparation for this blog and I asked her what needs Love’s Arm currently has. Mimi stated:
“Currently we have a Jazz & BBQ event on November 4th and would love to have folks come out for the event. They can register at https://www.lovesarmoutreach.org/sponsorships.
Also, we just released a 30-page booklet called Songs of Deliverance, a trauma-informed collective of survivor stories. Folks can get a copy of it for a $5.00 donation to Love’s Arm between now and Oct 31st by going to this link https://bit.ly/SONGSLA.
It has been the biggest year of growth ever for Love’s Arm both in our staffing needs and in the number of survivors served through our six programs. We have watched the Lord bring hope and offer healing to so many beautiful souls. We can always use more monthly prayers and support from our community of grace. Our gratitude knows no end and neither does His love.”
To learn more about Love’s Arm and how to get involved, please follow the links below.